Michael Jackson Still Alive? ‘MJ Truthers’ Claim Recent Sightings
Five years after the death of Michael Jackson, the conviction remains strong among some of his die-hard fans who have been dubbed “MJ truthers,” that the “King of Pop” is still alive and that he did not die of a drug overdose. Fans continue to report sightings of the pop star from all over the world on “MJ truther” websites.
Conspiracy theories that Jackson did not die but staged his own death and that he is still alive began proliferating within days after his death was first announced.
Since 2009 after Jackson died, fans have established online “truther” communities dedicated to nurturing a bewildering array of death hoax and cover-up theories claiming evidence that the superstar did not die of an overdose of tranquilizers.
“MJ truthers,” assisted occasionally by satirical websites such as The Onion and Empire News, have circulated stories purporting to provide evidence that the pop star is still alive and living secretly outside the U.S.
The expectations of his future return to the stage, expressed by fans on the “MJ truther” website Michael Jackson Sightings, often assume a flavor of messianic “second coming” hope.
“Many say he’s dead but we tend to question this. There are too many unanswered questions and many of us have a strong gut feeling that yes, we will see him again. If we keep the faith and live with respect to all living things as he espoused in so many songs, we feel he will return.”
Early conspiracy theories claiming a cover-up about the circumstances of Jackson’s death argued that the surveillance footage used in the trial of his personal physician, Conrad Murray, which showed Jackson entering his home for the last time on June 25, 2009 at about 12:45 a.m., excluded footage of the last 24 hours of activity in the house. Conspiracy theorists claimed that the tapes went “missing” because they contained evidence that refuted the media story that Jackson had died.
Michael Jackson Sightings expresses suspicion about the “missing tapes.”
“How is this possible? The best investigation team in the world is investigating the ‘death’ of one of the most popular entertainers of all time and they forget to save the surveillance footage. Something seems a little fishy here. Is there maybe something that they don’t want anyone to see?”
“Truthers” claim that Jackson was a fitness freak who passed a fitness test for insurance purposes shortly before his death. They claim that stories that Jackson was abusing drugs, living an unhealthy lifestyle, and suffering ill health were deliberately leaked to the media to set the stage for his disappearance. Conspiracy theorists also claim that he hired a cardiologist only 11 days before his death as part of a carefully orchestrated plan to stage his death. The decision was taken to hire Murray, a physician with a questionable profession history, because he appeared an ideal person to take the blame for a staged death, according to the website Michael Jackson Is Not Dead.
“Michael Jackson has repeatedly said that he wanted to live forever … he even slept in a hyperbaric chamber to remain youthful. He was also a vegetarian and only had one meal a day, to extend his life. Michael is known for having done yoga and meditation … So why on Earth would he do a drug overdose and kill himself with prescription drugs? The truth is that this was all set-up. This is something that Michael had been planning for a long time.”
Conspiracy theories that surfaced within days of his death claimed it was another person who was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead. The person who died “in place” of Jackson was identified in some “truther” circles as Soule Dmitri.
“Dimitrie was the one taken to UCLA hospital and admitted there under the name Soule S. Dimitrie was a 47-year-old man who had terminal illness. Michael Jackson is still alive and we will see him perform again real soon in the flesh once he is healed and has his strength back.”
Claims of Michael Jackson sightings, in places as far apart as Perth, Australia, and Eastern Europe, continue to be made on “truther” websites. In October, the satirical website Empire News caused a stir among Jackson fans and “truthers” with a story that he was living in Ontario, Canada, under the assumed named Alain Pontifex.
According to the story, a few days after Jackson’s “faked death,” a fleet of vans and limousines brought a “pale middle-aged” newcomer to a neighborhood near the Lake Dore in Ontario, Canada. The man, Alain Pontifex, lived in seclusion and was never seen in public.
Empire News quoted an email statement by the spokesperson of a fictitious “truther” group which cited evidence that Alain Pontifex was the same as Michael Jackson. According to the email, the mysterious owner of the house applied to the local authorities for permission to keep exotic animals and “many packages delivered to the cottage [were] from theatrical makeup and costume companies.”
“Could the master of all disguises have slipped away into the night and simply abandoned the character he so skillfully created? That would be the greatest show of all time.”
The satirical website even quoted a contractor hired to work outside the house who said he he heard a voice that sounded like Jackson’s from inside the house.
“It did sound like Michael Jackson’s voice. I can’t swear that it was Jackson, but I got the feeling it was some famous person who wanted to hide out.”
Undaunted by the revelation that the Empire News story was a hoax, fans have continued reporting sightings of their hero to “truther” websites, keeping alive the forlorn hope that he would return to the stage very soon.
Among a host of recent sightings, a fan claimed he saw Jackson in an elevator in Las Vegas in June this year.
“He was wearing black clothes and leather jacket…”
“All of a sudden Michael turned around and I could see his face.”
“I’m definitely 100 % sure that I saw Michael! I’m very confused, but i am sure that i saw Michael… [sic]”
Another fan saw Jackson in Arizona, also in June.
“(Michael) turned around and walked right past me! I caught a glimpse of his face and when I realized it was Michael I sat down because I was about to faint. Has anyone else seem him recently?”
In August, a fan in Perth, Western Australia, bumped into someone in a hallway and snapped a photo of that person who looked uncannily like Michael. When he turned around to look, the person was hurrying away and he could not catch up with him.